Outbreak of Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in the southwestern United States. Response of pathologists and other laboratorians. Academic Article Review uri icon


  • During late spring and early summer of 1993, national and international media called worldwide attention to a cluster of deaths in the southwestern United States. These patients succumbed to a rapidly progressive severe respiratory distress syndrome. After notification of state and national health agencies in mid-May, a major effort was launched to determine the cause of this often fatal respiratory distress syndrome, to advise the public on safety measures, and to determine the method of spread of this "mystery illness." Within weeks of recognition of the early cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the probable agent, a Hantavirus. This report details the response of pathologists, medical technologists, and other laboratory scientists to this new viral epidemic, with emphasis on activities that occurred within New Mexico.

publication date

  • April 1994